To hear excerpts, just click the Amazon MP3 widget above
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is the sixth studio album by The Foo Fighters, released on September 25, 2007. The Foo Fighters previous release, 2005‘s In Your Honor, was generally poorly received and seen as too self-indulgent. To my mind The Foo Fighters had been releasing steadily less satisfactory albums for about ten years, so this simply continued the trend. Luckily this time around The Foo Fighters have regained some focus and Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is a far more satisfying collection of songs.
Opening with “The Pretender”, their best opening salvo since “Monkey Wrench,” The Foo Fighters get this album off on a bombastic footing. “The Pretender” is the kind of number we have come to expect from The Foo Fighters, but Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is almost certainly their most experimental album to date. There is a distinct classic rock influence on the album, but his is cleverly used to make it easier for the listener to get into the more challenging material. This means Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace appeals to the existing fans, but opens The Foo Fighters up to new ones too.
Tracks like “Stranger Things Have Happened,” “Statues” and “Home,” sound unlike anything The Foo Fighters have done before showing a subtle side not previously explored. Even in it’s more mellow moments, it exudes a tension not heard on a Foo Fighters album before. These tracks do take a few listens, but creep up on you, showing some hitherto hidden depth to The Foo Fighters.
To my mind the best example of this is when Dave Grohl teams up with jazz guitarist Kaki King for the finger plucking instrumental “The Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners” This was based on a story from the collapsed Beaconsfield Mine, where one of the trapped miners’ requested for an iPod full of Foo Fighters tunes to be dropped down to him. A beautiful track.
There are times when I wish The Foo Fighters would just kick back and rock out in the way they did on their fantastic early albums rather than get bogged down in some misguided attempts at eclecticism. I mean, did they really need to leave their odd country number “Summer’s End” on there? All it does is wear out the “skip” button on my MP3 player.
It is unfortunate that a few songs are just standard album filler. Sometimes I wish we were back in the days of vinyl just so bands could only fit 8 tracks on an album, forcing them to cull the filler material that is all to often a waste of time.
Overall though “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” retains the core Foo Fighters sound while broadening their range and crafting some great tunes and it’s always good to hear Pat Smear playing on anything!
- The Pretender
- Let It Die
- Erase Replace
- Long Road To Ruin
- Come Alive
- Cheer Up Boys, Your Makeup Is Running
- Summers End
- Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners
- But Honestly
- Band On The Run(B-side)
- Dave Grohl – vocals, rhythm guitar, piano on “Summer’s End”, “Statues” and “Home”
- Taylor Hawkins – drums, piano on “Summer’s End”, backing vocals on “Erase/Replace”, “Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)” and “But, Honestly”
- Chris Shiflett – lead guitar, backing vocals on “Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)”
- Nate Mendel – bass
- Drew Hester – percussion on “Come Alive”, “Let it Die”, “Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)”, “Long Road to Ruin” and “Summer’s End”
- Rami Jaffee – keyboards on “Let it Die”, “Erase/Replace”, “Long Road to Ruin”, “Come Alive” and “But, Honestly”, accordion on “Statues”
- Brantley Kearns Jr. – fiddle on “Statues”
- Kaki King – guitar on “Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners”
- Pat Smear – guitar on “Let it Die”
- Strings by The Section Quartet (arranged and conducted by Audrey Riley)
- Gil Norton – producer
- The Foo Fighters – producer
- Adrian Bushby – engineer
- Jake Davies – pro-tools engineer
- John Lousteau – assistant engineer
- Rich Costey – mixer
- Claudius Mittendorfer – assistant mixer
- Brian Gardner – mastering
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace won the 2008 Grammy for Best Rock Album and “The Pretender” won for Best Hard Rock Performance. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace was also nominated for Album of the Year, while “The Pretender” was also nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rock Song.
The Foo Fighters had previously won Best Rock Album Grammys for There Is Nothing Left to Lose and One by One.